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Open scene: a small-town kid with incredible athletic capabilities and big dreams working hard to simply just play at the next level. Before you know it, scenes flash by and the small-town kid is no longer small-town. Instead, he's leading his team out of the tunnel at the biggest stage in the NFL: the Super Bowl. It's the feel-good story we all have come to know and love. For small-town Whitehouse football alumnus, Patrick Mahomes, this feel-good story has been a reality he has lived twice. On Sunday, the Kansas City star quarterback and two-time NFL MVP will live the story a third time with the high hopes of winning his second world championship.
A three-sport athlete at Whitehouse, Mahomes was born a star in East, Texas. With a former MLB pitcher as a father, Mahomes shined in baseball from a young age on. When the opportunity arose for Mahomes to join the MLB out of high school, he turned it down saying he would have a home in Lubbock with the Red Raiders' football program. Mahomes also had a short, successful stint on the basketball court. Shining for the Wildcats was something he was no stranger to.
Though a talent athlete all around, Mahomes stood out on the football field. With a natural ability and veteran-style attitude from an early age, it should come as no surprise to anyone who knew him in a Wildcats jersey that he would be making waves in the NFL. As a junior, Mahomes starred in 12 games where he totaled 3,839 yards, 46 touchdowns, and recorded a 56.7% completion rate. On his feet, Mahomes tallied 258 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns on 107 carries. After putting hard-work to the test, Mahomes went on to record 4,619 passing yards, 50 passing touchdowns, 948 rushing yards, and 15 rushing touchdowns as a senior. Once he graduated, he headed west to Lubbock.
After choosing Texas Tech over Oklahoma State and Rice, Mahomes was ready to make an impact in Lubbock. As a freshman, Mahomes recorded 1,547 passing yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for 104 yards in seven appearances. Stepping into a leadership role as a sophomore, Mahomes appeared in 13 games where he threw for 4,653 yards with 36 passing touchdowns and tallied 10 rushing touchdowns on 456 rushing yards. As a junior, the Red Raiders' star carried in 12 touchdowns on 131 rushing yards while recording 41 touchdowns from the pocket on 5,052 passing yards. During his entire college season, Mahomes only threw 29 interceptions- 10 of which were his junior season.
With the opportunity to enter the NFL Draft, Mahomes declared and waited patiently for what his future had in store. If he knew then that he was about to be on track to being one of the greats at the professional level, then he definitely capitalized on the opportunity.
Although there were so many great athletes in the 2017 NFL Draft, there was a lot of buzz around where this kid in Lubbock would end up. Would he be one of the top athletes drafted? Could he be No. 1? Not only was he not No. 1, but he wasn't even the first quarterback chosen. The first draft pick came, Myles Garret, DE out of Texas A&M. Second, Mitchell Trubisky out of North Carolina... so on and so forth for seven more rounds. Then it was Kansas City's turn. Seeing something special in the Red Raiders star, the Chiefs selected Patrick Mahomes as the 10th overall draft pick. Mahomes was ready to get to work.
In 2018- his first season as a starter with the Chiefs- Mahomes won the NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards after losing in the AFC Championship game. That season, Mahomes threw for 5,079 yards and 50 touchdowns with only 12 interceptions to his name. The next season, Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory with a 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers- winning Super Bowl MVP and surviving the "Madden Curse" (long believed to take out athletes who appeared on the cover of Madden NFL that season). The following season, Mahomes would lead his team to the Super Bowl once again before falling to Tom Brady's Buccaneers. This season, Mahomes has not only led his team to his third Super Bowl in five years, but he won the NFL MVP award for the second time.
Throughout his professional career, Mahomes has been "more than great." He has played in five Pro Bowls and will have played in three Super Bowls, earned two NFL MVP awards, earned a Super Bowl MVP award, has played in five AFC Title games in front of a home crowd, has been named All-Pro three times, has been a two-time passing touchdown leader, appeared as the cover-boy on the beloved Madden NFL video game in 2020, and has broken the NFL record for total yards in a season with 5,614.
A star in every definition of the word, Mahomes has already established quite the legacy. As he prepares for his third Super Bowl appearance, the small-town kid will certainly have a lard portion of the Dallas-Fort Worth area to East, Texas rooting for him.